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I wish to join the chorus of congratulations and warm wishes to our beloved Archbishop Emeritus Datuk WritingJohn Lee on the occasion of his 50th sacerdotal anniversary.  It will be celebrated with a Mass of Thanksgiving to the Almighty and Loving Father who has showered His graces upon him and the archdiocese.

I thank God for the gift of the priesthood and episcopacy of His Grace in the past 50 years.  Indeed that gift has tremendously impacted each of our journeys as individuals and as a faith community.

Through his ministry as a priest, I believe many people have been blessed and benefitted from his preaching, homilies, prayers, labours, wisdom, advice, and most importantly, his love for the people of God.

Through his ministry as a bishop and archbishop, many could attest to the wisdom and vision in his leadership.  Many of you would agree with me that His Grace has the love of God and wishes to reach and touch people at the grassroots.  It is through his farsighted vision that we have now three dioceses in Sabah.  This, by itself, is a sign of growth, empowerment and shared responsibility in the local Church.  Indeed, it needs someone who has a vision, wisdom, humility and courage to do so.  And this, to me, is what we have and are grateful to His Grace.  It is through his guidance that we are where we are bow as local Church.

Some personal words to His Grace: “You were the one who accepted me when I applied to enter the seminary.  You were the one who accepted and ordained me into the mysterious priesthood.  You were the one who sent me for further studies.  You were the one who guided me in my priestly ministry, both as director of the Aspirants as well as an assistant priest at Sacred Heart Cathedral.  You were the one who guided me into my episcopacy.  In all these, I really thank God for the gift of you to me.  For me personally, you are just like a father, teaching me to be a good person as well as to be a good pastor to the people of God.  Your patience, humility, kindness and faithfulness have inspired me till today.  In particular, your faithfulness in daily adoration and meditation before the Blessed Sacrament has been a model for me.  Thank you!  Hence, I pray that this auspicious occasion will fill your Grace with the joy of reaping the fruits of your labours.  May God grant you good health and many more years in His ministry.”

Again, congratulations and ad multos annos!

Most Rev John Wong

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